UX+ or Digital Brand Experience Design? Part 1: More than UX

UX+ or Digital Brand Experience Design? Part 1: More than UX

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How can brands elevate their product offerings by taking digital experience to the next level?

Stuck in a traffic jam, you open WeChat to check your Moments feed. Then you do it again. And again. It’s not imperative, but it’s a habit that you’ve developed. The next thing you know, even without the need to, you keep going back every spare second you have. This is your digital habit - a result of the excellent design work beyond UX.

You may ask: why beyond? Isn’t this the example of a perfect UX? Isn’t it exactly what everyone’s talking about?

What is UX?

What exactly is the role of UX? Firstly, UX fosters brand-to-customer relationships. We apply UX as a dynamic improvement of usability, responsiveness, efficiency, aesthetics and interaction with the product in order to satisfy users objective in more pleasant way. How many companies have lost online sales orders because they didn’t provide a quick and easy checkout process in their app for their customers? How many customers have become confused by the sudden appearance of a pop-up menu icon on a website? UX means taking care of the intangible attributes of the brand experience. It needs coherence not just visually, but in all interactions related to the digital product.

User Experience - Cultivating understanding and empathy for end-users that drives and inspires design and technology. The user experience pathway looks like this:

It’s not enough to just create a good digital product. A product, which is a top-level indicator of a brand’s image, and its positioning should be made with the user’s intrinsic needs and wants in mind. Even the ones they don’t realise they have. Each digital product should be designed in a way that the bespoke functions align and support the brand personality. This obviously should be different from competitor’s solutions, as each brand should cater to the needs of an unique target audience.

In a fiercely competitive market like China, each successful case becomes the new norm, homogenizing new marketing efforts with no second thought. If it worked for them, it will work for me. Right?

Nice try. Most brands – who often share the same consumer segments - offer the same platforms, apps and mini programs to their users but each with a slightly different VI. That’s not a new experience that can improve your brand awareness. It is simply the same UX vieled with a derivative UI.

So how can a brand elevate its product offering by taking digital experience to the next level?

A Wider Perspective: UX+

At MADJOR, we look at the whole spectrum of Digital Brand Experience Design. Our experiences show that UX is just one step in the process. To improve the results, we recommend our clients to expand their horizons and develop a holistic approach to digital experience. A well-crafted digital experience should be guided by the brand’s positioning and a set of North Star principles, not just through a quick rework of the UX.

First, we analyze our client brand’s status quo. Then, we consider where it wants to be in the future. We encourage discussion between business and marketing specialists: Researchers, UI/VD/Digital Designers and UX designers. This mix of design and business thinking helps to narrow down the target audience's latent needs and to devise feasible solutions. The result is a cohesive and actionable pathway that blends design and business in a single clear direction. At MADJOR, we call this process the Digital Brand Experience Design (DBED).

Digital Brand Experience Design (DBED)

DBED – an iterative design methodology applied to simultaneously drive client’s business objectives and solve customers’ pain points through bespoke solutions. It crafts digital experiences through interaction design and visual storytelling, defining how each product will reach and interact with its audience.

DBED is not a revamp of your website. Nor is it the decision to include e-commerce in your app. DBED is highly user-centric approach that mixes design, psychology and business strategy to help brands become part of their customer’s life.  Google and Meitu Xiuxiu didn’t become verbs because they sound snappy, but because their products became ingrained in the users’ daily lives and re-shaped their digital habits.

Please stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we explore what user digital habits mean and how they are formed.